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      A {Mostly} Confabulated Biography

     D. Rae Vanlandingham was born the youngest of three daughters. At least that's what her parents have usually claimed. But there was some early talk of having found her in the fork of a black-barked tree, on a storm wracked and moonless night. How ever it was she arrived, trouble soon followed. She was just an infant and so, one might hope, incapable of any perfidy. Still, she pinched one of her big sisters hard enough to draw blood almost as soon as she was allowed in the house and cast a pox upon them both soon after.  A few years later, when the kindly couple who'd given her a home were finally blessed with a son she couldn't resist more mischief and cursed him for a dwarf. The curse was only partially successful.
     She grew up awkward of step and given to spectacular accidents but learned to speak at a remarkably young age. An achievement marred by a fondness for using made up words; an unfortunate habit no amount of counsel ever broke. A reputation for peculiar behavior marked her early years: reading upside down and backwards more proficiently than most children read right side up and forwards, holding pow-wows with invented Indians in the nearby hills, conjuring strange landscapes out of ordinary grass and rocks, shape-shifting, waking before dawn to dance in the dew while the sun was still blinking lazily abed, and perhaps most peculiar of all: writing stories.
     When her stories and behavior raised eyebrows, her mother would only laugh and say "She's our little changeling". Most pretended to believe it was said in jest but watched the girl closely for other signs of faerie blood just the same. Soon an unnatural predilection for kissing red-headed boys beneath the concealing leaves of ivy covered fences confirmed their worst suspicions and before long phrases like Come to a Bad End, Pixie-Led, and Raised by Wolves were being tossed about in her wake.
     Even so, a day came when to all appearances she settled down. She learned to keep all the secret, squirming, inventions populating her dreams-both sleeping and awake-to herself, and began acting like a real girl. It was often a struggle and sometimes she slipped, but for many years she convinced a great many people, including herself, that she was perfectly ordinary. It wouldn't last. Eventually all attempts to keep a wildly fertile and somewhat twisted imagination held safely in check failed. All manner of  stories and make-believe began to spill out and onto paper once again.
​     The author currently lives in Northern California where she is at work on no less than three novels in addition to the Follys Landing cycle.  In her spare time she works as a Registered Nurse just often enough to keep herself in tea, pens, and paper. Possessing a perverse sense of humor she did marry once, but changelings are creatures fierce and fickle and prone to broken promises, so you can imagine how that turned out.  She has two grown children, both of whom have so far and against all odds survived a careless and permissive upbringing, as have two cats and four fish.​​

 

January 2014 post-script: make that one fish.

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